Its interesting how easily people are fooled into the “buzzword trap” — give something that makes you feel uncomfortable a name, and voila suddenly that’s exactly what it is. This is false logic. FALSE FALSE FALSE.
If i needed to emphasize it any more, FALSE.
All around me i’ve began hearing the grumblings of a “dynasty” forming within PKR several weeks ago when Nurul Izzah threw her hat into the ring for a vice presidency position in the party’s direct elections. Her father is the de facto leader. Her mother is the party president. How convenient it would be for the family to control the party if she staked her pole in the mud as a VP.
The one word that started appearing around the blogs and forums was “nepotism“.
Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives or friends, with no regard to merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos (meaning “nephew” or “grandchild”).
I’ve written about democracy often enough, and i think the clearest message i was trying to push out there was that democracy doesn’t necessarily give us the government/results we want or need, but it always, ALWAYS gives us the government that we deserve.
I like making an example of the American people because they are most easily related by everyone who even does a little reading. Let’s use them again here to illustrate my point.
When President George Bush Jnr won re-election it was on the back of one of most closely fought presidential races in recent memory. His popularity with America had taken a severe hit due to the war in the Middle East and West Asia. The economy was creaking at the seams, largely due to unsustainable domestic and foreign trade policies and allegations of Big Business having control of the White House through proxies such as Cheney were burning hot and bright in the Press. It would be a close call for him to pull through.
Perhaps, if not for some dubious electoral iregularities in Ohio, John Kerry would have won in 2004, and the American people would have had a chance to pull out of the nosedive of the next 4 and a half years. Today, America is a mess of epic proportions; it is a credit to Obama that he has been able to do something constructive about it in the 20 months since he took office.
But do the Americans have any one else to blame but themselves? Of course not. It shouldn’t have come down to Ohio to make the difference and tip the balance to Bush Jnr in 2004. The people saw what Bush had done to the country, and still they voted him into office for a second term. What happened next, well, that as they say is history.
Similarly, democracy for PKR must also be allowed to make its own decisions, even if those decisions are mistakes. Are there dangers in centralizing so much political party power into the hands of a single family? Sure there are. Now that Nurul Izzah is mulling over the choice of running for Deputy President, it means the top 3 power brokers of the party, and conceivably of our future country, will be held by them. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Minister of Trade Wan Azizah and Minister of Education Nurul Izzah. That could be our future Cabinet power play. Say what you will about the BN PMs, none of them had the gall to do the same.
But that’s what democracy is all about, isn’t it? If that’s how the votes fall, then that’s how things will be. If it turns out well for the country, then it means that we’ve made a good choice. If it turns out badly, then it means we’ve made a bad choice. Either way, because we cast the vote, that’s exactly what we deserve.
Democracy wasn’t meant to protect us from bad leaders or family dynasties. It was designed to ensure that we don’t get trapped by bad leaders forever.